By Mike Verespej, Plastics News Staff
Orlando, Florida -- Dave Randich doesn't deny that "it's been a tough few years" for the industry and for fibreglass entry and patio door manufacturer Therma-Tru Corp. in Maumee, Ohio, which has consolidated its manufacturing in North America from five plants to two during the past three years.
"Our high water mark would have been the first part of 2006, our low point in early 2010," said Randich, who became ceo of Therma-Tru three years ago after 24 years at Armstrong World Industries Inc. He said that after "a nice increase in 2010, we are seeing a recovery in 2011 - even though the new home market isn't expected to improve until the second half of the year.
But more importantly, "we strengthened our product line [during the recession] and are in strong financial position to grow" both internally and through acquisition, Randich said.
"We had to get ourselves organised and strong for this market," Randich said in an interview at the International Builders Show in Orlando in January. "We returned to IBS this year for the first time in three years to show what we've been working on. With our product introductions, we are now able to put together entryways for builders and consumers that no one else can do."
That product line includes:
* Vented Sidelites entry doors with built-in full length side vents that make them the only fibreglass door with vented sidelines that also have decorative glass options. Vented sidelines have traditionally been used largely for patio doors. These doors are filled with insulating polyurethane foam.
* Classic-Craft Canvas Collection fibreglass doors that are Therma-Tru's first smooth paintable fibreglass door in the premium market.
* Numerous other entryway solutions with decorative glass options that include interior and exterior trims from Fypon.
Randich credits the company's expanded product line in 2011 on its focus on innovation. The company continued spending on research and development during the downturn, operational improvements and a restructuring in manufacturing, and the acquisition of moulded urethane millwork and cellular PVC trim manufacturer Fypon Ltd.
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